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Parable of the Underwear

This is a story about hope, the will to live and underwear.

Last week, after we left the Psychiatrist's office and very difficult, heart wrenching conversation we had with him, I felt so disheartened; deflated.  I really felt like my hope was dwindling.  It felt as close to the end of Sam's life as I'm sure it could have felt.  Not only was I struggling with the sting of being slapped with the truth of reality and DC, but Sam was struggling twice as bad.

We sat in the car for several minutes, both of us just staring ahead like we had just been caught in a tangled web of deceit.  Really, we had all but convinced ourselves that life altering diseases and problems like this happen to other people, not us.

As the mom, I knew what had just been squarely placed on my shoulders to bear.  I had the daunting task of restoring order to the day.  Finding a secure place to stand, something to steady us.

They say that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  So, it stood to reason in my head, that we needed to do to something hopeful that was at least equal in weightiness to the hopeless conversation we had just endured.  My mind was racing through the archives of hopeful things we had done in the past or things to diffuse the fear and worry...

Smashing plates...
Silly String Fights...
Massive Cheeseburgers...
Visiting someone worse off than us...
Egg tossing

None of those seemed like a good fit.  We were pretty somber.  Then it hit me...

Sam has been telling me for at least 4 months that he needed more compression shorts.  He wears them as underwear.  I kept saying no because Christmas was coming.  Then, I forgot to get them for Christmas.  They are expensive so I was really being creative in my putting him off.   In my head, I thought...nothing says 'we are not dying today!' more than new underwear!  It's a sign that you are going to need them because your life will go on!

After an awesome cheeseburger and greasy fries from 5 Guys to fill the cracks of our pun intended, we hit the mall.  I went straight to the best underwear store I could find and told Sam to pick out a few pair.  He looked at me strange..."Why?"

"Because you need them.  You've been asking me for them so we're getting them."
"But they are too much money.  I'm not going to need them"
"Yes, Sam!! You are going to need them!"

That underwear was a symbol of life.  It really was the weirdest thing that has happened to me in a long time.  The feeling was so strong that underwear = life.  I know, it sounds totally half baked!

To me, those underwear are a little message from God that Sam isn't done yet.  I don't expect anyone else to get it but it was a moment I don't want to forget.

I was sharing this with my book club friends a few days ago and one of my friend's said, "That is so funny!"  She went on to share her own underwear experience.  Her husband has been through some serious health issues with his heart and kidneys.  He's been on dialysis for I don't know how long!  When we was really, really sick...she knew he needed underwear but she didn't go buy any because she really didn't think he was going to live.  That was a few years ago...he's still here!

See...proof right there that underwear=life.  Funny how such random things hold such meaning to one facing difficult trials.



  1. Kathy, I've been catching up on your blog a little--I'm so sorry about all this that you are going through. I feel so bad that you feel alone. You really have such a huge load to carry by yourself. But I am so impressed by how strong you are and how you keep going. The fact that you work so hard and find time to serve others, all on top of being a mom and a mom of sick kids. It's super impressive--truly. I am praying for Sam and for you. You are such a good writer, too. Thanks for sharing. I can relate with many of the things you write about. I really appreciate your honesty.


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